Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and U.S. President Donald Trump, the leaders of the world’s two largest democracies, have pledged to work closely and continue to cultivate the healthy relationship currently enjoyed by both countries.
“The two discussed opportunities to strengthen the partnership between the United States and India in broad areas such as the economy and defense.They also discussed security in the region of South and Central Asia,” noted a White House readout of Trump’s phone call with Modi on Tuesday night.
“President Trump and Prime Minister Modi resolved that the United States and India stand shoulder to shoulder in the global fight against terrorism,” it added.
However, Agence-France Presse (AFP) warns that “their two governments could clash on issues such as trade and visas for Indians wanting to work in the United States.”
Voice of America (VOA) reports: “There is growing concern that India’s $150 billion information technology industry, which relies heavily on exports to the United States, could slow and become less competitive if the Trump administration tightens rules on hiring skilled foreign workers.”
Indian tech professionals are considered one of “the biggest beneficiaries of the H-1B visa program, which allows foreign professionals to work in the United States,” it adds.
During his inaugural speech, Trump declared, “We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.”
Nevertheless, President Trump and PM Modi vowed Wednesday to work together and ensure that the good relationship between their two countries continue. They extended mutual invitations to their respective capitals in a show of good faith.
According to a White House readout of Trump’s phone call with Modi on Tuesday night, the U.S. president “emphasized that the United States considers India a true friend and partner in addressing challenges around the world.”
“President Trump looked forward to hosting Prime Minister Modi in the United States later this year,” it adds.
In response to their phone conversation Tuesday night, the Indian PM wrote on Twitter that he “had a warm conversation” with Trump and they had “agreed to work closely in the coming days to further strengthen our bilateral ties.”
Modi also invited President Trump to visit India.
Prior to Trump taking office, India had been provided support to Afghanistan to the satisfaction of the United States.
Besides India, both Afghanistan and the United States have accused Pakistan of harboring terrorists.
While campaigning, Trump courted Indian-American voters.
“The new president’s hardline rhetoric towards Muslims during his campaign found favour in some quarters in India, which has had its fair share of tensions between the majority Hindu population and its Muslim minority,” notes AFP.